In the regular season finale, the Northern Michigan University hockey team was shutout for the fourth time this season with a 3-0 loss to Lake Superior State. The Lakers scored three shorthanded goals and defeated the Wildcats for the third time this season. LSSU also won the Cappo Cup by outscoring Northern 10-4 in the four games in 2012-13.
With the loss, NMU fell to 10th place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The 'Cats will travel to the No. 7 seed University of Michigan next weekend (March 8-10) for a best-of-three series in the CCHA First Round. NMU finished the regular season 15-17-4 overall and 9-15-4-1 in conference play.
NMU honored its five seniors who played their final game at the Berry Events Center. Kyle Follmer, Kory Kaunisto, Scott Macaulay, Brian Nugent and Matt Thurber were celebrated with their parents on the ice before the game.
"I'm really disappointed in the loss," NMU coach Walt Kyle said. "We played a real passive, low tempo game early. We just go lulled into not doing much for two periods. They got a goal, that I'm sure Jared would like to have back, on a bad shorty. We're a team that when we get rolling, we can play pretty good but when we get behind we struggle and that happened tonight."
Stephen Perfetto opened the game's scoring with a blast from just inside the blueline that found its way underneath junior goaltender Jared Coreau 2:37 into the second period. The shorthanded tally was unassisted.
"We got ignited in the third and got a ton of chances," Kyle added. "I thought their goalie did a great job but we had enough chances in tight that we should made go in."
The Lakers scored two more shorthanded goals in the third even after NMU pressured and outshot them 16-9 in the final frame. Kellan Lain picked up a loose puck behind the NMU net to make it 2-0 with 3:52 left on the clock.
NMU pulled Coreau for the extra attacker while on the man advantage late in the game. Domenic Monardo took a three quarter ice shot into the open net to seal the win with 42 seconds left. Lain picked up the only assist of the night.
Northern had many chances to score. Sophomore forward Reed Seckel had a shorthanded breakaway in the first period but wasn't able to get a clean shot after making a move on Kevin Murdock. Senior defenseman Kyle Follmer hit a pipe on a shot midway through the third.
The two teams each had 35 shots on goal. NMU was 0-for-8 on the power play after nine LSSU penalties. The Lakers were 0-for-4 after six Northern penalties.
Coreau had 32 saves, including 13 in the second period. Murdock finished with 35 for the visitors.
LSSU finished the regular season 16-19-1 overall and eighth in the CCHA at 11-16-1-1. The Lakers will host the No. 9 seed Bowling Green in the first round.